Toolbars were quite common back in the gold old pioneering days of the Internet as they added functionality to the browser that you could not add in any other way to it. The rise of browser extensions made them obsolete, more or less, but that does not mean that they have vanished completely.
Nowadays, toolbars have a negative connotation as they are often installed in sneaky ways on the computer. Plus, they do not really add anything to the browser that cannot be added in other ways.
Yahoo! released the new Yahoo! Toolbar in the U.S for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. If you are not living in the US you can still get it, but need to change your country to US for the download on the toolbar download page.
The website detects the browser that you are using automatically and will either provide you with a download link if it is supported, or suggest that you download a version of Firefox that comes bundled with the toolbar if it is not.
Side note: The Chrome Yahoo! Toolbar would not show up in the browser after installation. I'm not sure if this is because I'm running Chrome Dev and Stable on the system, or because of other issues. The Firefox installation worked fine though.
The Yahoo! Toolbar adds a toolbar to your browser that sports a large search form and many, many buttons afterwards.
The buttons link to web services and tools, such as Yahoo! Mail, Tumblr, Flickr or Yahoo! Finance. First thing that you may want to do is edit the buttons that are available so that only those that you are interested in show up. To do so click on the settings icon at the right of the toolbar and select the edit toolbar option.
You are taken to a configuration page where you can add or remove buttons from it. The page lists first party Yahoo! services and also popular third party services such as Gmail, Facebook or YouTube that you can add to the toolbar.
While this sounds just like a bookmarks bar so far, many of the services that you add can be linked to that service, so that you do receive notifications and other information right in the toolbar.
If you cannot find a particular page or service listed here, you can visit it manually and click on the plus icon in the toolbar to add it to the toolbar.
Last but not least, it is possible to rearrange the buttons - but not the search field - that you find on the toolbar.
If you want to uninstall Yahoo!'s toolbar again, you need to do the following. The process depends on the browser that you have installed it in to.
Firefox: Open about:addons in the browser's address bar and locate the Yahoo! Toolbar entry here. Click on the remove button next to it and then on the restart now link that appears to complete the process. This restarts Firefox and the toolbar should be gone afterwards.
Google Chrome and Internet Explorer: The toolbar gets installed just like any other program in Windows. This means that you need to uninstall it from the remove a program control panel applet in the operating system. Easiest option is to press the Windows-key, type uninstall and select the result from there.
Locate the Yahoo! Toolbar entry and select to uninstall it from the system.
While I personally would not call the toolbar essential even if I was a die-hard Yahoo! user, I can see its use, especially for users who want to receive service notifications. It does not really take up more space if you replace your bookmarks bar with it, but that may mean that you may need to use Yahoo! Bookmarks as an alternative to that if you have lots of bookmarks that you need direct access to.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.